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Mounting Inverter in-cab

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Cdavis, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Oct 25, 2010 at 9:37 PM
    #1
    Cdavis

    Cdavis [OP] Active Member

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    OME 2.5" Front, Rear add-a-leaf with extended shackles, Downey Super-clutch, 33" BFG MT
    Hey fellas,

    So I had posted a little while ago about possibly trading in my 01 for an 11... well I decided that I'm gonna keep my 1st gen until it completely dies, which means time for more mods!

    I'm thinking about mounting a 400w inverter under the passenger seat, simply screwing its flanges to the floorboard, and hard-wiring it. I just hate having loose things plugged into the 12v outlets and the jumble of wires it produces. I have 2 concerns though:

    1. Do you think it will get too hot being under the seat? I think no since I probably won't run it for extended periods of time, mainly just to charge things, mostly my computer while I'm on long road trips.

    2. I want to wire it so it only can be turned on with accessory power, so that someone (me) can't accidentally leave it on and end up with a dead battery in the middle of nowhere. The easiest solution to me seems to be to just tap directly into a cigarette lighter or 12 v power point behind the dash. Now I don't really know much about electrical, but are the wires running to the 12v heavy gauge enough, will this be OK or will I need to run a new, heavier gauge wire to it, and install some sort of relay from a hot accessory-powered wire? I have seen some posts where folks have done some much more complicated setups to put in inverters, rerouting the switch and outlets, and I would honestly rather not explode the whole unit, I'm perfectly happy having to reach under the seat to turn it on and plug things in...

    From someone who knows more about wiring than I do, will this work? Or will I melt/fry things? Has anyone done anything similar?
     
  2. Oct 26, 2010 at 6:49 AM
    #2
    derekp

    derekp giddy up!

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    DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrician!!!
    I am looking to do the same thing (using a 750 watt version from Harbor Freight). From what I found online, if you are using over 150 watts you need to wire directly to the battery (suggest using 4AWG wire). Like you, I worry about it draining my battery. I might hard wire the inverter and put in an in-line switch if I can find one that can handle the load.
    Basically, the smaller wire to the Cig Lighter might not deliver the appropriate amount of power for the inverter to work at max level.
     
  3. Oct 26, 2010 at 7:20 AM
    #3
    Series1000

    Series1000 Gots a Taco!

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    I would suggest a relay/ solenoid to trigger it.
     
  4. Oct 26, 2010 at 8:35 AM
    #4
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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    ya hard wiring it to the battery is fine BUT make sure you relay it

    you can pull the trigger signal from the cig lighter just like you wanted to before
     
  5. Oct 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM
    #5
    Cdavis

    Cdavis [OP] Active Member

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    OME 2.5" Front, Rear add-a-leaf with extended shackles, Downey Super-clutch, 33" BFG MT
    What sort of relay should I get, I totally understand HOW they work, just not sure what kind I'd need or where to get it? Aren't most of them you'd find at an auto parts place purpose built for a specific wiring harness-connector plug or something, like headlights? Would there perhaps be a marine-type one I could get that would be well sealed and be happy under my hood?
     
  6. Oct 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM
    #6
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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    you just need a standard 30 amp (or maybe smaller) bosch relay


    i wouln't mount it under the hood, just more clutter

    you will run a new bigger gauge wire from the batter to the relay....you will be pulling the trigger from the cig lighter....so i would just mount the relay in around there

    then just run the power out to the inverter, and run a ground wire back (pretty sure you also have to ground the relay)
     
  7. Oct 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM
    #7
    Cdavis

    Cdavis [OP] Active Member

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    Sounds really easy, thanks for the info! Can I just pick up that relay at an auto parts store or would I be best off getting it off the internet?
     
  8. Oct 26, 2010 at 10:16 AM
    #8
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Any decent auto parts store should have them in stock. Also, an in-line fuse is never a bad idea if you're hardwiring to the battery.
     
  9. Oct 26, 2010 at 10:25 AM
    #9
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Relays run about $5 at any Radio Shack. Look near the drawers where they keep the radio/speaker equipment. I've seen 20A, 30A and 40A depending on the store.

    For some reason, I've never seen them at an auto parts store!
     
  10. Oct 26, 2010 at 10:51 AM
    #10
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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    yes an inline fuse (within 12") of the battery is a very good idea (just like you would with a power wire for a stereo install

    i think a 20A relay should be enough...and probably a 20 am fuse too....you can always lower the fuse if it doesn't need to be that high
     
  11. Nov 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM
    #11
    tacomakid89

    tacomakid89 Awesome Member

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    if the inverter has a power switch on it, then would you need to do a relay
     
  12. Nov 14, 2010 at 4:17 PM
    #12
    tacotime95

    tacotime95 Member

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    who has pics of one installed?
     
  13. Feb 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM
    #13
    austinstaco

    austinstaco Well-Known Member

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    i got the 750w harbor freight inverter and all parts to install will post pics when i get done
     
  14. Feb 25, 2011 at 8:06 PM
    #14
    HomerTaco

    HomerTaco Grill Sergeant Vendor

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  15. Feb 25, 2011 at 8:34 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    ...too much shit to list.
    Here's how I mounted my Xantrex 1000.
    It's wired up to a circuit breaker strait to battery with 4g wire.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Feb 25, 2011 at 8:42 PM
    #16
    mikracer

    mikracer Well-Known Member

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    What exactly do you power with something like that?
     
  17. Feb 25, 2011 at 8:48 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    Kegerator of course.
     
  18. Feb 25, 2011 at 11:58 PM
    #18
    Scott78

    Scott78 Well-Known Member

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    An RV park?
     
  19. Feb 26, 2011 at 12:09 AM
    #19
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    Mine is mounted under the driver seat. But I moved the outlets and switch to the center console (2nd gen)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Feb 26, 2011 at 9:48 AM
    #20
    Cdavis

    Cdavis [OP] Active Member

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    Very nice guys, I went with a cobra 400 w inverter, under the passenger seat. Wired it with some 10g wire directly to the battery, through a switch in one of the knockouts just below the ashtray. Put a 30 amp inline fuse in it, and all was well until the other day, I turned it on and was met with the lovely smell of ozone and a fried inverter... not exactly sure what caused it other than the fact that I bought the inverter on amazon for 20 bucks and was probably pretty crappy...
     
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